- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Donald Trump said Wednesday that picking Mike Pence as his running mate is evidence of his own smarts, and proclaimed the Indiana governor’s performance in Tuesday’s debate “the single most decisive victory in the history of vice presidential debates.”

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton countered that Mr. Pence wasn’t able to defend the “terrible things” Mr. Trump has said, and instead offered lies when challenged by her own running mate, Sen. Tim Kaine.

Analysts said whoever the “winner” of the debates, it will do little to change the trajectory of the race for the White House, which polls suggest has been trending in Mrs. Clinton’s favor.

Mr. Trump wasn’t going to let those naysayers rain on his victory parade, taking to the stage in Henderson, Nevada, to say Mr. Pence throttled Mr. Kaine.

“Mike Pence did an incredible job and I am getting a lot of credit because that is really my first so-called choice, that is my first hire, as we would say in Las Vegas,” Mr. Trump said in Henderson, Nevada.

For his part, Mr. Pence held a campaign event and made a pit stop to grab a roadside pulled pork sandwich in Virginia before heading to Pennsylvania for a two-day campaign swing.

SEE ALSO: 36 million viewers tune in for the vice presidential debate — lowest number in 16 years

“From where I sat, Donald Trump won the debate,” Mr. Pence said in Harrisonburg, Virginia. “Donald Trump’s vision to make America great again won the debate.”

Mr. Trump and Mrs. Clinton will be back on the stage themselves Sunday for a town hall-style discussion, then square off a final time later this month in Las Vegas.

Both campaigns predicted the town hall plays to their own strengths, raising the expectations for each candidate.

“The town hall format is really a sweet spot for him because he’s the one out there with voters every single day,” Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway said Wednesday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” She said Mrs. Clinton seems uncomfortable engaging with voters.

Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, though, said town halls were a “natural format” for Mrs. Clinton, and said Mr. Trump “isn’t as used to” them.

Mrs. Clinton herself took a day off the campaign trail, but deployed surrogates.

Former President Clinton campaigned in eastern Ohio, trying to convince working-class voters that his wife will be their champion. Sen. Bernard Sanders of Vermont was in Wisconsin, urging voters to reject the Trump campaign’s “bigotry” and “ugliness.” And Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts headlined a Clinton fundraiser in San Francisco.

Mr. Kaine appeared in Philadelphia, where he said the debate showed how Mr. Pence has shied away from justifying some of Mr. Trump’s rhetoric and policy plans.

“If you can’t defend your own running mate, how can you ask one person to vote for your running mate?” Mr. Kaine said. “Your running mate ought to be able to defend you.”

With just over 30 days to go before Election Day, recent polls have shown that Mrs. Clinton is outperforming Mr. Trump in traditional battleground states.

She has recaptured the lead in Florida and North Carolina, and has maintained her lead in Virginia and Pennsylvania. Mr. Trump is up in Ohio.

Ben Wolfgang contributed to this article, which is based in part on wire service reports.


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